For Nancy Price, the world walks into her classroom every day. For 23 years, Price has met hundreds of international students who are studying English as a second language.
Six months after receiving a master’s degree in 1981 from the University of Illinois, Price started teaching English as a second language at MU.
Price learns about cultural differences from her students. She said she has become culturally aware of different hand gestures and social norms.
When working with students who do not speak English well, Price uses repetition, gestures and sometimes pictures to help ease the process.
Price teaches oral communications, grammar and composition. Fluent in Spanish, French and English, she said she enjoys working closely with her students and having the flexibility to be creative.
In her classes of about 15 students each, she helps them work toward personal goals — for example, learning to overcome a fear of speaking English in public. Price wrote her own course packet and CD workbook for a textbook.
MU’s English as a second language instructors think it is important to introduce the students to Missouri, Price said. They plan trips to Hannibal, amusement parks, the St. Louis Zoo, the Kansas City Art Museum and many other places.
“I love the people I work with,” she said.
Price enjoys sewing, reading and sports. “The one thing I like about sports is that it is ongoing and new all of the time,” she said.
For 17 years, Price has met with a book club once a month.
“I make it a priority,” she said. “It is a way to meet with my friends, and it forces me to read something I normally wouldn't read."